Sunday, 23 June 2013

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

Gina and I went into town last week to the Fashion and Textile Museum to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition.

We both really enjoyed it, such a riot of colour and texture and all with a bit of humour thrown in - Gina has written more about it here , but something we agreed on, was that we would both like to make one of these
I thought it looked like a pretty sea urchin, but it turned out to be a hat - like these 
I'm not sure I'd want to wear it, but they did look pretty, and it would use some of my button collection.
The exhibition finishes next Friday, so you need to get your skates on if you want to see it.

After a cup of tea and a piece of delicious cake, Gina had to dash off to get her train, but as I didn't, and as the sun was shining intermittently, I thought I'd have a bit of a walk along by the Thames. I called into Tate Modern (not a lot that I liked in there, I'm afraid), and then I continued wandering along the South Bank where I discovered all sorts of jobs that I didn't know existed.

I don't know about you, but when I left school, I don't think I had much in the way of career advice.  I remember I borrowed a library book called "Careers For Girls" and it seemed to me you had limited choices. 
If you were thin and pretty you could be an air hostess, if you were clever and studious you could be a teacher, if you were kind and caring, nursing was for you, and for everyone else there was office work.
Now I'm not saying that I was a fat, ugly, stupid, obnoxious teenager, but I DID opt to become a shorthand typist.
But imagine, if someone had only told me that you could earn a living making sandcastles......

or that you could get a job blowing bubbles .... 
Which leaves me wondering, what other fantastic job opportunities did they not mention in 'Careers For Girls'?

You'll have to excuse me,  I'm off to write to Cadburys to see if they need any chocolate tasters.

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles - The Cockney Rejects  (and West Ham supporters, obviously)

Sunday, 9 June 2013


I've  had a busy week - gardening whenever the sun was out, and sewing when it wasn't.  Which it mostly wasn't.  
So this weekend I've rescued two pairs of jeans that were destined for the charity shop, and made them into shorts.  Never fear, they won't be seen in public, just for the garden, so it seems daft to spend good money on them.  
And, just so I don't have two pairs of identical denim shorts, I dyed one pair black in the sewing machine.  Pity the stitching doesn't dye too - why can't manufacturers sew cotton fabrics with cotton threads?

I've re-fashioned two shirts.  One was an old shirt that I cut down to size and added a contrasting collar, as per this tutorial on Zoe's blog
and the other was a gingham shirt that I bought in a charity shop on Thursday.  It was from the M&S Per Una range, so it obviously came with the obligatory frills, ruffles and fabric roses (no wonder their profits are going downhill fast) so I unpicked the button bands and removed and binned all unnecessary adornments and now it just looks like a shirt I'll wear.  

I'm not sure if I should remove the sleeves too, but I'm still thinking about that.
I've also made two skirts, one from - wait for it ..............  this fabric
I saw it when I was fabric shopping at Blake House Craft Centre a few weeks ago and I really liked the colour, so I pulled the roll from underneath a load of others.  It was at this point that I realised it was Toy Story fabric, and was covered in little Woodys and Buzz Lightyears.  I suppose I should have immediately put it back, given the fact that it's probably intended to make duvet covers for small boys, but both my friend, and the very nice sales assistant from "and sew on Fabrics" at Blake House Craft Centre, dared me to make a skirt and wear it. And I'm never one to shy from a stitching challenge. 
No one dared me to buy this fabric, but I guess in for a penny .............
So, girls - I did make them, and I WILL wear them to work. But possibly not this week, when I start on a new team, in a new office, with a load of people I don't know.  
But, give it a couple of weeks..............

Stitches - Urge Overkill

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Then Came The Last Days of May

Ok, so I know it's now June, but I'm a bit behind, so here's the last few pictures to show I really stuck to the MeMadeMay Challenge - and I did wear something that I'd worn or refashioned, every single day.  There WERE some repeats, but I blame that mostly on the weather - I've got lots of summer dresses but it just wasn't warm enough to wear them. 
This was Tuesday's outfit - the Jalie crossover top, with a tube skirt made from some heavy stretch fabric I've had for ages, and with the left overs I made a little bow to pin on the top ...
Wednesday was spent waiting for a delivery, so didn't required any dressing up.  I forgot to take photos but I wore these,  a me-made t-shirt and my first pair of me-knitted socks
and jeans, obviously, but I didn't make those.
Thursday I went up to town to see In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion at the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.  Worth a visit - especially if you are interested in textiles - a few costumes but mostly paintings with marvellous renditions of lace, beading, embroidery and fabrics.  How DO you paint velvet so it looks just like velvet?  On the way there we saw this guardsman striding out - it looked like he might be late for work, but somehow I doubt it.
Afterwards we walked the short distance to the Mall Galleries, to see the Liminal Exhibition by the Prism group of textile artists.  No photos I'm afraid as it wasn't allowed, but it was a really good exhibition even by Prism's high standards.  I loved some of the work, and even the bits I didn't were interesting.  
Anyway, I digress, I forgot to take a photo until I got home but I wore the me-made black spotty needlecord skirt
And finally, for the last day of May, when I was back in town to meet my mate, I wore a me-made purple Jalie crossover top.  The previous day it had rained on and off, and I got fed-up carrying an umbrella, so on Friday I took a Me-knitted and felted hat.  it didn't rain at all, and in fact was quite warm, but when we popped into M&S Cafe for a coffee (and cake - it's the law) I put it on for a quick photo
Later on we went to the Scream Gallery at the back of Oxford Street to see an exhibition of neon light art by Chris Bracey
I didn't think they would allow photos, but I asked, and surprisingly, they didn't mind

I really loved them, although I'm not sure they'd look their best in my little cluttered abode.  But if I lived in the right space, and had several thousand quid going spare, I'd definitely have this one
So that's it - May's over and I can go back to wearing my usual clothes.  Except that I'm not sure I completely will.  I've really enjoyed wearing things I've made, and if nothing else, it has made me want to stitch more garments.  Especially warmer ones.  
So thanks very much to Zoe for organising this - and for inspiring me to actually wear the things I make.

Going back to Wednesday's delivery- if you receive a text AND an email both stating "Your delivery has left the warehouse and will be with you between 7am and 12 noon", is it totally unreasonable to expect it to arrive in the morning.  No, I didn't think so either.  So, at ten past 12 (not being noted for my patience) I telephoned the number given in the email, and the girl who answered said "Oh, it's just a guideline, so that you know whether it's going to be a morning or an afternoon delivery"  I pointed out that it obviously wasn't going to be a morning delivery and she said "Well, it's just a guideline, it will be with you about 1-ish.  Probably."
It eventually arrived at 2.40pm.  So not much of a guideline then.
If my boss is reading this, I'll be in at 6am tomorrow.  But that's just a guideline.

Then Came The Last Days Of May - Blue Oyster Cult